Air travel has definitely helped to cut down the time to cover long distances by a significant margin. But with all its advantages, the one drawback that even the most luxurious flyers are not able to help their passengers with is the problem of jet lag while traveling across different time zones. Most people feel uncomfortable for several days after moving from one time zone to another and this can be quite frustrating and depressing.
Over the years several tricks and tips have been suggested by medical professionals as well as travel experts to help the passengers overcome the problem of jet lag and enhance their air travel experience. However, in order to find the most effective method of combating jet lag, it is important to first understand the problem itself.
What Is Jet Lag?
Jet lag is an umbrella term used for defining a variety of symptoms experienced by people passing from one time zone to another within a very short period of time, often a matter of several hours. These symptoms are most apparent in people taking long journeys across cities and countries located in different time zones. The symptoms generally include a disturbed sleep pattern, fatigue, difficulty in focusing, loss of appetite and even irritation and disorientation. While it is a temporary condition for those who travel infrequently for business or leisure, it can create a serious problem for the crew members, who need to undertake such travel on a regular basis.
What Causes Jet Lag?
Jet lag is caused because the internal clock of the body of an individual is not adjusted to the time changes at the destination as compared to what they are used to at their place of origin. All individuals have an internal body clock, which follows a regular wake and sleep pattern based on the light and dark schedule of their area of their residence. Over the years, this internal clock becomes fixed to the day night schedule, which is why when the individual travels into a time zone with a different light and dark schedule, the clock becomes confused. While the body tries to follow the awake and sleep timings that it has become used to, the mind suggests otherwise resulting in the above mentioned symptoms. Generally people who cross only one or two time zones are less affected by jet lag as compared to those who cross multiple time zones within a matter of hours.
Overcoming Jet Lag
As mentioned before several remedies have been suggested to help people overcome the inconvenience caused by jet lag. From medication to therapies, a wide variety of solutions are recommended to help air travelers ease the problems caused by the disturbance in their natural body clock settings. One such method that has been recently suggested by experts is to adjust regular meal times at the new destination according to the one they follow at their place of origin. This not only provides relief from the symptoms of jet lag but also helps the travelers to easily fit back with their home life.
Adjusting the regular meal times simply means that the travelers take their meals around the same time as they do at their place of origin. In general, most travelers try to immediately adapt to the local meal timings of their destination, which further upsets the internal body clock. However, taking meals at the times that they are used to, even if it does not match the local meal times, tends to reassure the body and helps the minds to feel relaxed. In case they intend to stay at the destination for a long time, travelers can gradually shift their meal timings by several minutes each day to finally match the local timings after some duration.